Definition of contextual in US English:



  • 1Depending on or relating to the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea.

    ‘he included contextual information in footnotes’
    • ‘Each of the texts is a richly illustrated production with handsome photographs of both objects and related contextual documents.’
    • ‘The irony of signs that have come to signify difference is that they are at once reductive, yet simultaneously contextual.’
    • ‘The most successful schemes are distinguished by the complexity and subtlety of their response to these historical and contextual elements.’
    • ‘Museum objects and contextual photos are distinguished by scale and position.’
    • ‘In today's agricultural economy, the macro forces at work are bringing contextual questions to any agribusiness.’
    • ‘In using such a place, you implicitly reflect on its contextual architectural framework.’
    • ‘Visitors can view approximately 80 masks alongside video footage and contextual information.’
    • ‘In spite of some good ecological intentions and contextual theory, some pleasant urban spaces and detailing have happened.’
    • ‘The variegated facades of brick, painted aluminum, and stainless steel are his own brand of contextual design.’
    • ‘These courses require students to make contextual connections with their professional interests in order for them to use the concepts.’
    1. 1.1 Depending on the preceding or following parts of a text to clarify meaning.
      ‘they have limited practice in working out the meaning of unfamiliar material from contextual clues’
      • ‘The ability to draw this conclusion comes from contextual usage.’
      • ‘Without vowels, the ancients depended in part on contextual clues in order to read.’
      • ‘When the presence of a pun in the final sentence of the fables was a constant condition, the contextual elaboration was shown to increase reported humor.’
      • ‘The aim of the inquiry is not to probe the real intentions of the parties, but to ascertain the contextual meaning of the relevant contractual language.’
      • ‘There were no contextual clues to follow, and one could only try and make sense of the inscription.’
      • ‘The scriptural principle inevitably had to negotiate an array of competing interests such as the linguistic and contextual ambiguity of the text.’
      • ‘Their economic interpretation of urban vice was the contextual key to understanding the statute's construction.’
      • ‘There are serious flaws attached to any contextual attempt to understand the meaning of the word "person" in the Constitution for due process purposes.’
      • ‘The interpreter should seek to determine the contextual meaning of "one day" in this verse.’
      • ‘These two concepts are concerned with the spatial and contextual relationships of words.’